Concert goers scramble for cover as gunfire erupts at the Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Sunday Oct 1, 2017
Concert goers scramble for cover as gunfire erupts at the Harvest Festival in Las Vegas, Sunday Oct 1, 2017 (Image: Getty Images)

At least 50 killed in Las Vegas, 400+ wounded in “lone wolf” attack

At least 50 have been killed and more than 400 hundred wounded in the largest “lone wolf” attack in U.S. history. The shooting began at approximately 10:00 pm with rapid bursts of gunfire from the 32nd floor of the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel.

The attack occurred as country-music singer Jason Aldean was performing on stage on the final day of the three-day Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.

Concert goers were initially confused by the gunfire, with many reporting they mistook the sounds for firecrackers. As the shots continued, panic and chaos ensued, as people dove for whatever cover they could find. The concert venue, the Las Vegas Village and Festival Grounds, is spread over 15 acres and can accommodate 40,000 people, and was filled with attendees.

Ambulances carried the injured and wounded from the concert grounds for several hours. Two off-duty police officers attending the concert were killed.

Shooter commits suicide as police storm hotel room

Las Vegas shooter, Stephen C. Paddock
Las Vegas shooter, Stephen C. Paddock (Image: Twitter account)

The lone gunman has been identified as Stephen C. Paddock, 64, a resident of Mesquite, Nevada, about 80 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. Mesquite police report no past contact with Paddock.

The gunman had been in the hotel room since at least Thursday. The police were able to swiftly identify the gunman’s room in the sprawling hotel complex because smoke from the gunfire had set off the fire alarm in his room. Police breached the hotel door with explosive charges, and found the gunman dead of a self-inflicted gunshot.

Windows blown out of the 32nd floor Mandalay Bay hotel
Windows blown out of the 32nd floor Mandalay Bay hotel (Image: AP Photo/John Locher)

At least 10 weapons were found in the room, as well as 2 rifle platforms and telescopic spotter scopes with which Paddock apparently intended to identify specific targets.

Condolences from President Trump contrast politicized rhetoric from democrats

Calling the attack an “act of pure evil”, on Sunday evening, President Trump tweeted condolences to the victims and their families. The president also issued a public statement on Monday morning condemning both the attack and the attacker. First Lady Melania Trump also expressed her sorrow and condolences to the victims, tweeting on Monday morning, “My heart and prayers goes out to victims, families & loved ones!”

In typical liberal fashion, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton immediately attempted to blame the tragedy on the shooter’s firearms, rather than the shooter himself, and used the incident to launch new attacks on the NRA. Adding insult to injury, Clinton also attempted to spin the tragedy into a political diatribe against “silencers”, which the gunman did not use, but which is currently being debated by congress. Said Clinton, “Imagine the deaths if the shooter had a silencer, which the NRA wants to make easier to get.”

Other Democratic lawmakers who were also quick to try and score political points from the tragedy included Sen. Chris Murphy, and Sen.Richard Blumenthal, both from Connecticut. Predictably, the senators began touting anti-gun rhetoric almost before the gunfire had ceased, blaming guns and the NRA, but assigning little to no blame to the gunman.

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